There’s More Disruption in Co-office Space Dynamics

Amit Ramani, the Founder & CEO of Awfis Space Solutions has revolutionised the office space delivery ecosystem in India through technology-backed just in time solutions. We speak to the Founder and CEO on space dynamics and life beyond co-working.

As the President and Managing Director of NELSON Asia which is a leading group in Asia providing design and real estate consulting services, Amit Ramani has over 15 years of experience in areas of master planning, strategic planning, design management, workplace and business process improvement, six-sigma based strategies and facility planning. Awfis has tapped into two significant global trends - sharing economy and communities. Recently, Awfis raised $20 million from venture capital firm Sequoia India and is now looking to launch seven new centres, increase seating capacity to turn around its revenue growth over the next few months. We speak to the Founder and CEO on space dynamics and his life beyond co-working.

I like being a CEO because

As the first generation entrepreneur, the ability to solve real world problems by providing solutions that help make a difference in people’s lives provides a sense of fulfilment. As a founder and CEO, the ability to engage, learn and execute with an exceptional set of teammates and partners for our customers in the best workplace that transforms work styles is extremely exciting.

Any Aha! leadership moment in your professional career

During my yearly visit to the US in 2014, the transformation of alternative workplace movement led by corporates of Co-Working spaces led by independent players was an Aha moment. The opportunity became clear that India with its growing SME, Start-Up and Freelance workforce would form an ideal platform to transform under-utilised spaces into just-in-time workspaces that could be utilised by mobile professionals with a paradigm shift from static desk to uber desks.

Any toughest decision you made so far

As part of my current role as Founder/CEO decisions both tough and easy must be taken constantly for growth of the business. One of the toughest decision was to raise capital as part of current fund raising round without appointing a large investment bank and going with a boutique investment bank. In the end, the decision proved to be right as we were able to raise VC capital as part of our series B round in less than 90 days (a process that typically takes months) without running a formal process.

The next big thing in your industry vertical

We anticipated the growth of the co-working industry in India in 2015 when most people in India had not even heard of the concept. We believe we have pioneered the growth of the co-working industry in India by creating the largest network of workspaces in India. The community working will become integrated as the only way to work where organisations will leverage a combination of workspaces – some owned and some shared – to accomplish their work. Network of work-spaces will be the future with the ability for office workers (some directly employed and some crowd sourced) to exist in the inter-connected physical and virtual spaces.

One thing that young entrepreneurs should do better

Anticipation is the key word for entrepreneurs. The ability to anticipate customer needs, future roadblocks and competition to stay ahead of the curve in fast evolving economy.

Your role in the future

My role for Awfis over the last two years was to lead the creation of a transformational platform where landlords act as partners to deliver workspaces for our customers comprising an eclectic mix of Start-Ups, SME’s and corporates. The future looks very exciting with a focus to create products and solutions that enhances the productivity of our customers, deliver superior returns to partners and shareholders and provide an environment that makes Awfis the best place to work for the teammates.

The last book on your bedside and what you learnt from it.

Elon Musk: Biography by Ashlee Vance: I believe Elon Musk is the modern-day Albert Einstein with ability to anticipate the future and execute on ideas that seem too farfetched to even dream. The biggest lesson I learned is the ability to believe in your idea (against all odds) and formulate an unobstructed vision to execute on the idea to deliver value for customers and give exponential returns for shareholders.

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